Monthly Archives: October 2018

Churches: Fellowships Without Fellowship (Part 11)

In God’s first attempt at planting a new church, He did it in a unique fashion.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2-4)

The gifts of the Holy Spirit fell on all the people, not just the apostles or prophets or evangelists or pastors and teachers. Everyone was empowered by the Spirit and His spiritual gifts.

Four or five years later, Philip was preaching in Samaria when a revival broke out with many people being saved. Peter and John traveled to Samaria to help Philip. The first thing the two apostles did was check the new believers to see if the Holy Spirit had fallen on them.

For as yet the Holy Spirit had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:16-17)

Almost twenty years later, the Apostle Paul had already planted many churches, including the Corinthian Church, when he met some new disciples in Ephesus. What was the first thing Paul checked with these new believers?

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2)

When Paul heard these new disciples had not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but only into the water baptism of John the Baptist, he wasted no time.

And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)

The evidence seems to prove that the apostles made sure that all of their new church plants followed the same pattern God used when He planted the first church in Jerusalem. They laid hands on the new believers and asked the Holy Spirit to fall on them so that the spiritual gifts were poured out on the new believers

Why was this important? And is it important for us today?

(Continued in Part 12…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for America (10/18/2018)

 

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked a question by an onlooker. “Well, Doctor, what do we have – a Republic or a Monarchy?”

Benjamin Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

As Franklin stated, America was founded as a republic, which is basically a government based on the rule of law. Our U. S. Constitution sets limits on how the elected can govern and the rights of individual citizens and states.

However, as we all know, our system of government has loopholes and gray areas that allows politicians and others to take advantage of the citizenry to advance their own agendas. Why? Because even though our system of government may have been God-inspired, it was still man-made and is subject to the god of this world: Satan.

On the other hand, the Kingdom of God is an absolute monarchy with King Jesus as the head. The subjects in this kingdom are all sons and daughters and members of His royal family. This kingdom has no loop holes or gray areas and is not subject to Satan and his kingdom of darkness. It is an eternal kingdom without end.

So, when voting this year, keep in mind —

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. (Matthew 6:33)

My prayer today:

Lord, remind us Americans that apart from You, we can do nothing. (Based on John 15:5)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America. 

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Churches: Fellowships Without Fellowship (Part 10)

 

“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.” (C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters)

We have to keep in mind that the Great Tribulation will be a seven-year time period, which begins in peace. A man of peace – the Antichrist – will forge a peace treaty that will be accepted by most Christians, Jews, Muslims, and nations. This will stop the wars – nations fighting against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms.

The peace treaty will be so strong that the Jews will be allowed to build a temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and carry out daily sacrifices. I know – it’s hard to imagine this ever happening again, but it will!

This peace treaty will be in effect for three and half years until the Antichrist sets up the image of the beast in the Temple and stops the daily sacrifices.

Now, don’t go thinking the three and half years during the peace treaty will be a time for Christians to sit around a campfire, strumming a guitar and singing, “Kumbaya My Lord.” No! I believe it will be a time when churches will be pressured to accept compromises – small at first, but increasing in severity as time passes – in order for them to survive.

How do I know this?

This is what the Communists did in China with their Three Self Patriotic Movement. The same Satan who authored the suffocating rules on the Three Self Churches will attempt to do the same on our traditional churches. All of it will be done under the guise of tolerance and keeping the peace.

Then, BAM!

Many traditional churches and believers will be preconditioned through the gradual slope of compromises into accepting the mark of the beast.

“Home fellowships are persecution proof and are the only viable form for underground churches. We believe in the years to come, we will see increasing restrictions on our ability to meet together, to worship together and to pray with each other.” (Chuck Missler)

(Continued in Part 11…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for the American Church (10/16/2018)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 200

 

On the first Pentecost, a sound came from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, filling the house where one hundred and twenty believers waited for something to happen in Jerusalem. Then, divided tongues of fire sat upon each person.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4)

The one hundred and twenty believers walked outside, still speaking in tongues. Devout Jews heard these believers and thought they were drunk.

Peter said, “These are not drunk, but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Acts 2:17-18)

What happened at the first Pentecost was only a partial fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. The Spirit was not poured out on all believers nor did every son and daughter prophesy. It only fell on one hundred and  twenty believers.

Even the Azusa Street Revival and the Charismatic Revival – as great as they seemed at the time – were only partial fulfillments of Joel’s prophecy. The Spirit was not poured out on every believer.

My prayer today:

Lord, help the American church to believe and pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on every believer; thus fulfilling Joel’s prophecy.

Join me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for the American church.

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Prayers for America (10/11/2018)

“The devil made me do it!” (Flip Wilson)

The recent Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford brouhaha underscores a dismal situation for most American Christians: our lack of spiritual discernment.

So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11 NASB)

Sadly, we American Christians are ignorant of Satan’s schemes. You see, we allowed the accuser of the brethren (Satan) to manipulate us into being his pawns on social media and elsewhere for dividing the Body of Christ.

Somehow, we have to eventually realize that many of our problems in America are caused by the kingdom of darkness. Our only hope is to follow the King when He leads us so we can advance the Kingdom of God in our nation.

My prayer today:

Lord, open our spiritual eyes so that we can submit to You and then resist the devil. (Based on James 4:7)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

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Churches: Fellowships Without Fellowship (Part 9)

Using Chapter 24 of the Book of Matthew as our End-Times timeline, we read that the Anti-Christ will commit the abomination of desolation in verse 15.  This was prophesied by Daniel and Jesus tells us to understand his prophecy about this event.

Will believers and the Church still be on the earth at that time? Yes, because Jesus will not return for the Church and believers until verses 30 and 31.

Now, there are timelines in the Book of Revelation, but they’re not always chronological, according to chapters and verses. Some of the text is out of order and must be lined up with other books in the Bible.

Okay, with the above words as guidelines, what will be one of the church’s biggest problems in the End-times?

He [the Antichrist] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13: 16-18)

After the “abomination of desolation” takes place, the Antichrist will persecute and kill Christians and Jews. His biggest weapon to bludgeon people into obeying him and his government will be the “mark of the beast.” No one will be able to buy food or medicine or gasoline or whatever without the mark.

Can Christians just rely on His grace and take the mark of the beast, while tossing a wink toward God? You know, Daddy loves me anyway, right?

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. (Revelation 14:9-10)

I am an eternal security believing Christian, but because of my fear of the Lord, I would never want to cross the line against these verses nor would I suggest others to do it. What might eventually happen to believers? I don’t really know nor am I interested in finding out. Just obey His words!

So, what can believers do to protect themselves?

(Continued in Part 10…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for the American Church (10/9/2018 )

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 2005

“There is no Christian victory or blessing if we refuse to turn away from the things that God hates. Even if it is accepted in the whole social class and system of which you are a part, turn away from it. Even if there is something that has been accepted by our whole generation, turn away from it, if it is evil and wrong and an offense to our holy and righteous Savior. ” (A. W. Tozer)

My prayer today:

Lord, open the eyes of the American Church so we realize that we can’t  serve God and mammon at the same time. (Based on Matthew 6:24)

Join me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for the American church.

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